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October 24, 2016

Human Trafficking in Pakistan


During my posting as Special Judge (Central), Lahore for about 2-1/2 Years, a number of cases under the Immigration Ordinance, 1979 were dealt with by me. Each case had its own peculiar facts, some timepathetic and some time sensational and thrilling. This article is anattempt to cover the causes and implications of menace of humantrafficking in Pakistan as well as the proposed remedies and measuresmay be taken at different forums to eliminate or minimize this menace.

Human trafficking is an intricate and complicated issue. It is not confined to a particular country or region but has spread its tentacle more menacingly in the third world countries especially in the subcontinent. There are countless reasons for human trafficking all over theworld and the dominant reason is the economic deprivation andinequality prevalent in the society. There is acute paucity of jobsespecially for young educated persons. A job if fetched carries such ameager remuneration that it is difficult to make both ends meet. There is an unhealthy competition in our society to become rich overnight whichcompels our youth to indulge into adventurism. When unemployment,poverty, social injustice and inequality is prevailing in a society there arealways two options for the young generation either to sustain constantagony of poverty, despondency and destitute or to break the law andexplore some better avenues to lead some prosperous life. In thisbackground majority of the young generation obviously look for foreignshores. They are also enamoured from the ostentation and opulencedemonstrated by expatriates while living in their vicinity which is in factsham, unreal and farcical as well as momentary and leave the despondent youth in glum and gloom. It is a matter of common experience that suchlike people easily fall prey to the travelling agents mafia. The economiccompulsions both on the part of the travelling agents and the intendingemigrants make them low on morals and requirements of law. Suchagents are well connected, deep-rooted and have a wide net all over the world and they take the benefit of any laxity if extended to them at theborders or at the airports. The travelling agent mafia has variety ofdevices and tricks to avoid the vigilant eyes of the Agencies at suchplaces and take the emigrants out of any country through illegal means.

It is yet another tragedy that when such people land in the foreign shores then very hard, miserable and agonizing realities stare in their faces. At times their travelling documents are found deficient anddefective. The jobs they were expecting to get are nowhere in sight. Thedreams to become rich overnight are smashed which are converted into anightmare. It is really deplorable that some of them either die on thehilly tracks while crossing Pak-Iran border or in the containers atTurkish Greece border. Even if they succeed to enter into any Europeancountry they have to lead a very miserabl